Like the O-Zone team, the Minors All-Stars also drew Patrick County in the blind drawing at the credentials meeting. Patrick County has a long history with Dixie Youth and is worth noting that they were the premier franchise in the league when Blacksburg first joined. In fact, the Cougars handed the first group of Blacksburg All-Stars a good taste of competitive baseball via the slaughter rule in their first district tournament.
However, times are different and Blacksburg has grown steadily over the years and this year’s minors team started out the tournament strong, beating Patrick County 13-3 via the ten run rule.
Patrick led off the top of the 1st, scoring three runs to take a quick 3-0 lead. However, Blacksburg responded with five runs of their own. Eli Sterling led off the bottom of the 1st by drawing a walk, and then Trevor VandeVord reached base on an error. Spencer Campbell hit a single and after an out, Conner Deane singled and Sean Kang reached on an error. Kia Feng was HBP, and then two consecutive outs ended the productive inning for the Bruins, but not before Blacksburg took a 5-3 lead after one inning of play.
Blacksburg’s starting pitcher Sean Kang struck out two of the five batters he faced in the top of the 2nd and did not allow a run.
The Bruins kept their offense going, scoring a run in the bottom half of the frame to extend their lead to 6-3. Rioll Pula led off with a walk and with two outs, VandeVord hit a RBI single to left center field to score Pula. The next batter popped out to end the inning, stranding VandeVord.
Kang hit his stride in the top of the 3rd, retiring the Patrick County hitters in consecutive order. In the bottom of the inning, Blacksburg’s bats exploded for six runs to increase their lead to 12-3. Raymond Ladd led off the inning with a double and after a sacrifice fly, Kang helped himself on the mound with a double of his own, scoring Ladd (7-3). Feng followed with a single and after a fielder’s choice ground out, Bradford Hurt hit a single. Back to the top of the order, Eli Sterling kept the rally going with a double and VandeVord had his second hit of the game with a double. The two out scoring continued when Campbell had his second hit of the game, another double for Blacksburg. A ground out ended the inning for the Bruins.
Blacksburg changed pitchers in the top of the 4th, giving the ball to Eli Sterling, who promptly retired the Cougars in consecutive order. Blacksburg was finally held in check in the bottom half of the frame, sending just four batters to the plate. Feng reached 1B on an infield error, but was stranded.
In the top of the 5th, Sterling picked up where he left off in the previous inning, but this time faced four batters. The lead off hitter drew a walk, but Sterling retired the next three players in order. In the bottom of the 5th, Blacksburg’s offense ended the game via the ten run rule. Hurt led off with a double, and then scored when Sterling hit a RBI double to end the game at 13-3.
Sean Kang pitched the first three innings for Blacksburg and got the win on the mound for the Bruins. He scattered six hits, struck out six batters, and did not walk any hitters.
Eli Sterling pitched two innings in relief, facing just seven batters and striking out four of them. He walked one batter and did not allow a hit.
Offensively, Blacksburg was led by Eli Sterling, who was 2/2 with two doubles, three RBIs, a walk, and reached base three times. Spencer Campbell was also 2/2, with a single, a double, and an RBI. Trevor VandeVord and Bradford Hurt were both 2/3 with a single and a double. VandeVord had an RBI. Raymond Ladd, Conner Deane, Sean Kang, and Kai Feng each added a hit.
With the win, Blacksburg advances in the winner’s bracket and gets a bye via virtue of a nine-team bracket.
Tag(s): 9-10 Minors